Topic: Hickey Place (TDN 15/09/2018)

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Hickey Place 

In more recent times, new streets in Opunake have been given names that acknowledge prominent people in the town’s history. Hickey Place is an example.

It was named after John Sydney Hickey. Born in the 1890s, ‘Syd’ Hickey was a bank clerk when he enlisted for service in World War One. He joined the 3rd Battalion’s machine gun section and was later awarded the military medal.

The dairy industry was his great interest. After returning to Opunake, he was elected chairman of the Opunake Dairy Company. He occupied the role for about 40 years. Later he served on the New Zealand Dairy Board, frequently representing New Zealand’s interests overseas. In 1970 he was awarded an MBE for his services to the industry. Hickey was also a Justice of the Peace and chairman of the local power board.

He also had a great interest in rugby. He played at senior club level then, in 1929, coached the Opunake team that won the Taranaki senior grade. By the 1930s he was a Taranaki selector. After many more years in administration he was elected a life member of both the Opunake club and the Taranaki Rugby Union.

John Hickey died in 1974. In 1975 survey work started on the roadway that would bear his name. Sections were sold and the houses we see today were built over the following decade.

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Hickey Place (TDN 15/09/2018)